Stimulus Dollars Here, Projects Selected, Tolls Discussed
Money from the federal stimulus package to be used for highway-related transportation projects in Connecticut is here, and the governor’s office has identified where the roughly $200 million in funds will go. Over the next year, an additional $90 million will be allocated for regional transportation priorities identified by various regional planning groups.
Of the $200 million targeting statewide projects, roughly 70% will be used for two major initiatives:
- Merritt Parkway safety improvements, resurfacing and bridge improvements
- Route 1 Amtrak bridge reconstruction in Branford
The full list of approved projects is available online at www.recovery.ct.gov.
Meanwhile, the state’s Transportation Strategy Board met this week to discuss the results of a recently released report on possible highway tolling in Connecticut and explore whether one or more of the nine options reviewed in the report should be recommended for further action.
Ultimately, the board decided not to make any tolling recommendations at this time, instead sending the final toll study to the General Assembly and Gov. Rell. Within the next two months, the TSB intends to hold a public hearing to gather input from as many stakeholders, including the general public, as possible.
Lawmakers looking at border tolls
At the same time, the legislature’s Transportation Committee has approved a bill that favors instituting highway tolls at state borders. SB-445 directs the DOT to develop “an analysis concerning the establishment of electronic tolls on Connecticut highways at the state borders.”
The analysis would include potential locations and collection methods, the impact on municipalities, federal constraints, privacy issues, and tax credits for residents and businesses that frequently leave and return to the state. The analysis must be completed by June 30, 2010.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Brown at 860-244-1926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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